Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mistakes, Forgiveness, Relationships, and Life in General

I awoke this morning with this poem in my head:


Introduction to Poetry
By Billy Collins

Related Poem Content Details

and hold it up to the light  
like a color slide 

or press an ear against its hive. 

I say drop a mouse into a poem  
and watch him probe his way out, 

or walk inside the poem’s room  
and feel the walls for a light switch. 

I want them to waterski  
across the surface of a poem 
waving at the author’s name on the shore. 

But all they want to do 
is tie the poem to a chair with rope  
and torture a confession out of it. 

They begin beating it with a hose  
to find out what it really means. 

When I awoke this morning with this poem in my head, it was accompanied by other thoughts skipping urgently behind. 
First thought: the poet's admonition is so much more than a request for readers to just enjoy poetry.  
Second thought: This poem is not only about enjoying life's beauties, but about the over analysis of the unavoidable, ever present, un-glorious messiness of life--the mistakes, the relationships, the wish-I-could-forgets. 

I dare say we overanalyze the faux pas far more than we revel in the joys. 

How many times have I tied my sins to a chair and beat a confession out of them? Even kept them in the chair far longer than necessary? How many times have I beat a relationship, or a scenario, trying to figure what it means or what went wrong?

If possible, analyze life with joy, with the purpose of discovery and learning. Find its light, its mystery, hear its music. 

Resist becoming the KGB. Put away the rope, the hose...buckle the water ski and hop into the water.